How Green Is My Windfarm...

ABB publicists are busy these days. Here's an extract from a release from Laura Patrick: ABB has won an order worth more than $400 million from the German utility E.ON Netz GmbH to supply the power equipment that will connect the world's largest offshore wind farm to the German grid. ABB will connect the 400-megawatt (MW) Borkum-2 park using its HVDC Light (high-voltage direct current) transmission technology, which gives utilities complete control over the power supply and increases grid stability. Located more than 100 kilometers off the German coast in the North Sea, it will be the most remote wind farm in the world. Editor's commentary: At least out there, Walter Cronkite and Senator Kennedy won't complain about it blocking the view . "Linking renewable sources of power to the grid can be challenging due to environmental conditions and the distance involved," said Peter Leupp, head of ABB's Power Systems division. "This project highlights how renewable power sources can be integrated to help combat climate change." Editor's commentary: As I have said before, it doesn't matter if you believe in anthropogenic global warming or not. The fact is, reducing dependence on petroleum that comes from not-very-friendly and very unstable places, is a net positive good. If we can do that and also be "green" so much the better. Scheduled to be operational in September 2009, the wind farm is expected to avoid CO2 emissions of 1.5 million tons per year by replacing fossil-fuel generation. Germany currently uses wind for about 7 percent of its electricity requirements and expects to double the share of wind energy by 2020. Editor's commentary: Remember that wind farms also use power...so they aren't all that green. ABB is responsible for system engineering including design, supply and installation of the offshore converter, sea and land cable systems and the onshore converter. Most of the transmission system provided by ABB will be laid underwater and underground, thus minimizing environmental impact. HVDC Light offers numerous other environmental benefits, such as neutral electromagnetic fields, oil-free cables and compact converter stations, and is ideal for connecting remote wind farms to mainland networks without distance limitations or constraints on the grid.

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